"American Idol" Season 10, Episode 7: San Francisco Auditions

2/10/2011 Posted by Admin

"American Idol" Season 10, Episode 7: San Francisco Auditions

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

On Wednesday night, "American Idol" went to San Francisco for their final round of auditions, and thankfully, the talent in Northern California was far superior to that found in Los Angeles last week.

My two favorite performers of the night were James Durbin, the final audition, and Julie Zorilla. James had one of those last-to-go-in-the-episode sad stories, but one of the most amazing voices of the season, and one of the kindest personalities we’ve seen to date. I loved how he sheepishly asked Steven Tyler if he could have permission to sing an Aerosmith song, and after proving his vocal chops, James did a lovely rendition of “Dream On” accompanied by a closed-eyed Tyler swaying along in respect. James reminds me of Adam Lambert in a good way, and I so genuinely want to see big things from this guy: he deserves it for so many different reasons, but most of all, he’s truly talented.

Julie Zorilla was one of those beautiful girls with a voice so powerful the judges just stopped in silence. She celebrated her 20th birthday auditioning for the show, saying it was her best birthday ever before she had a chance to wow the judges. Julie’s family came to America in the nineties, after escaping guerillas in their native Colombia, and rebuilt their life here from scratch. Her voice was absolutely incredible, but she came across as so likable, and as such a confident performer, which J. Lo immediately honed in on. After Julie left the room, Jennifer simply said, “Winner,” and it could likely be true. She was that good.

I really liked Stefano Langone as well. Stefano overcame a traffic car accident where rescue workers actually thought he had died. No one thought he’d walk again, but four months later he was on his feet. He sang Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” and I had actual chills. I love the soulful quality of his voice.

Another stand out performer was Clint Jun Gamboa, who was a bit too cocky for my tastes, but certainly sang really well. I thought singing a Bruno Mars song was the best choice for him, not because they both come across as cocky guys (okay, maybe a little), but because they have a similar vibe and a similar sound, and it worked. I like seeing these contestants singing contemporary hits in the early round.

One of the more polarizing contestants of the night was Emily Anne Reed, and I’m not entirely sure what I think of her. Emily had matching arm tattoos and a cute, squeaky, totally interesting voice and she picked an appropriately old-timey song. I like her for being such an individual, but I sincerely hope there’s a more talented quirky girl out there. Jennifer Lopez said she had the “singer-songwriter vibe” going on, which in ‘Idol’ speak is code for “quirky and weird,” and I feel this year the show is going to take a marked shift away from guitar playing vocalists. I’m very interested to see what she does next.

The two best send-offs of the night: Drew Beaumier who rolled into the room (literally!) in a functional transformer outfit before singing “Born to be Wild.” Gimmicky never goes too far on ‘Idol,’ and he was quickly shown the door. While his voice wasn’t up to par, he certainly wins for having the best audition costume in ‘Idol’ history.

Kenneth Berba, on the other hand, raced into the room dressed like an ape or some sort of furry animal, singing, screaming, pouncing and just really making a mockery of the situation. Before he could reach the center mark, Randy immediately sent him packing.

Next on deck is Hollywood round, where we will be reacquainted with some of our early favorites, and hopefully introduced with some of the talent whose voices were relegated to montage clips. Hollywood is always a stressful, long competition for the contestants, but I feel it’ll be a serious test for the judges, who so far, have exceeded my expectations a million times over.

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